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'Sing It America' to Mark Nat'l Anthem Anniversary


WASHINGTON -- During the nation's bicentennial, singer Shelli Manuel was singing the national anthem in Baltimore, where the events that inspired the anthem took place.

"We took our cameras to do a special and found out that none of the children – not a single one – could tell us what a national anthem was, never mind the name of it or sing it," Manuel, executive director of Sing It America, told CBN News.

So, as the anthem's 200th anniversary approached last year, Manuel and some friends pushed the U.S. Senate to pass an anthem-related resolution.

Manuel said that resolution directs "that we should educate and celebrate and preserve the national anthem."

Shelli Manuel talks with CBN's Paul Strand about why it's important that nation's young people be educated on the national anthem. Watch below:

"And it gave us a year of thanksgiving, which extended it from a very little-known one-day holiday – a beautiful, spectacular event in Baltimore – but the rest of the nation didn't celebrate," she said.

At Sing It America's website, you can read about how the year culminates Monday, September 14 with a day-long celebration in the nation's capital.

"This is going to start at 5 a.m. with a bugle call," Manuel said. "It will go all the way through the night till 5 a.m., 'from dawn's early light to dawn's early light.'"

A massive volunteer choir will boom out the anthem several times throughout the day, with ceremonies culminating that afternoon and evening by the Lincoln Memorial.

The anthem's author, Francis Scott Key, was a prominent lawyer in the Washington D.C. community of Georgetown. But it was watching a battle in the Baltimore harbor during the War of 1812 that inspired Key to write about America's star-spangled banner surviving a vicious British bombardment to still wave in the dawn's early light.

If you want to mark the end of the anthem's year-long celebration in person, Washington D.C. is the place to be, Monday, September 14.

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